Auburn, GA, was first settled between 1775 and 1781. It incorporated in 1892 and sits around 42 miles northeast of Atlanta and 27 miles west of Athens. It became an important railroad town after the Civil War, and today, it is an active community of around 53,000 people with around 18,000 total homes.

This city is a perfect environment for HVAC contractors. In 2018, a young man named Josh Meacham was building his skills working for one of those contracting firms, starting when he was 19 and working his way up from technician to service manager to operations manager in the 11 years he was there.

Before that, he worked at a different company while attending a technical school.

But in 2018, Meacham decided it was time to be on his own, so he left that company and started Service 1st Pros.

Service 1st Pros management
Josh Meacham and his wife, Hillary (center foreground)
with other team members.

“My wife and I started the company with me in the truck and her answering phones,” Meacham says. “When we started Service 1st Pros, our vision was to create a company based on core values, a code of conduct, and a desire to do what I truly believe the industry can do and still make money doing it.

“That thing is to provide what we call WOW service. That means we exceed customers’ expectations using a process much different than most companies do.”

He explains that while learning the trade, he noticed how other HVAC companies focused their energy on bringing in dollars, not caring how they were doing that.

“While earning a profit is certainly important,” Meacham says, “you must also ensure the system is performing well and providing customers with comfortable, safe, and energy-efficient environments.”

In the middle of his learning years, around the age of 25 or 26, Meacham met Rob Falke and Jim Davis from National Comfort Institute (NCI). He attributes this encounter to his first exposure to airflow testing and how that changed everything for him.

“When I met David Richardson of NCI, that’s when I understood that a high-performance approach was the real deal. The result was that I attended NCI classes many times over the years and brought trainers like David to our headquarters.

“When Richardson came to our company, he was phenomenal. He helped us all understand that while we must make money, it’s more vital we are a properly trained team that can leave customers with something tangible, like a well-equipped system that delivers the efficiency we promised.”

In just a few years, the Service 1st Pros team now specializes in duct renovation work.